Two suspects in the murder of progressive writer-publisher Shahjahan Bachchu were killed in a “gunfight” with police in Sreenagar upazila of Munshiganj early yesterday.
Police say both were members of banned militant outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and took part in the killing of Bacchu on June 11.
Of the two, Kaka alias Boma Shamim, 40, masterminded the killing. He used to make bombs for the outfit and was wanted in five separate robbery cases.
And Eklasur Rahman, 32, had rented a house in Munshiganj and collected arms from different areas to attack the writer, they added.
After a tip-off that militants went to Sreenagar area for robbery, police set up two checkpoints on KC Road early yesterday.
Around 1:45am, four people on two motorbikes were seen coming towards one of the checkpoints, said Jayedul Alam, superintendent of police in Munshiganj.
Police signaled the bikes to stop but the men hurled hand bombs and fired gunshots, forcing officials to open fire, triggering the “gunfight”, he said.
At one stage, Shamim and Eklas fell from the bike being hit with bullets but two others managed to flee, the SP said. Police took the duo to Shreenagar Health Complex, where the doctors declared them dead.
Three police personnel -- sub-inspectors Masud and Ilias and constable Tamim -- were also hurt after falling to the ground during the incident and admitted to Munshiganj General Hospital, he added.
Police claimed they had to fire 58 bullets.
Two machetes, 11 crude bombs, a pistol and a motorcycle were recovered from the scene, said the police super while addressing a briefing at his office yesterday noon, reports our Munshiganj correspondent.
With this, three out of four, who took part in the Bachchu killing, have been killed in “gunfights” and another suspect is still on the run. “We are conducting drives to the arrest the fourth suspect,” said the police super.
On June 27, another robber and JMB operative Abdur Rahman, 34, was killed in a “gunfight” with police. Rahman was the military wing commander of JMB Dhaka division, police claimed.
Law enforcers recovered three pistols, four bombs and 21 bullets from Rahman's Gazipur house. Police super Jayedul said Eklas took the guns to the house after the killing of Bacchu.
Rahman and Shamim, both professional robbers, were drawn to militancy by JMB leaders while in jail, said police.
Counterterrorism officials said JMB in recent years has been gathering strength through collecting funds mainly by robbery.
Militants in jail are also convincing other inmates, who were jailed for robbery and other similar crimes, to share with JMB a portion of looted money, they said.
They are telling inmates in robbery cases that, “If you spend a portion of the looted money for the welfare of Islam, your sins will be forgiven,” said a counterterrorism official.
'GUNFIGHT' IN CHAPAINAWABGANJ
An alleged drug peddler was killed in a “gunfight” with Rab at a mango orchard of Nayadiari-Namotola village of Gomostapur upazila early yesterday.
The deceased was Abul Hossain alias Babu, 35, son of Alam Sheikh of Shib Rampur village in the upazila, reports our Chapainawabganj correspondent.
Based on information that a group of drug peddlers had gathered at the mango orchard, a team of Rab-5 conducted a drive there around 1:00am, said Squadron Leader Sayeed Abdullah Al Murad, commander of Chapainawabganj Rab camp.
Sensing presence of law enforcers, the drug peddlers opened fire, forcing Rab men to fire back in retaliation, he said, adding after the “gunfight”, bullet-hit Babu was found lying on the spot.
Later, he was taken to the Gomostapur Upazila Health Complex, where doctors declared him dead. Two Rab members were also “injured” during the incident and they were given primary treatment at the health complex, claimed the official.
Rab also recovered one pistol, one magazine, three bullets and 177 bottles of Phensedyl from the spot. He was an accused in nine cases, including eight drug-related cases, filed with different police stations in district, said Rab official.
With the death, at least 224 suspected drug dealers and peddlers have been killed since the anti-narcotics drive began on May 4. Most of them were killed in “shootouts” with police and Rab.